Fields of Study: Constitutional Studies
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Bambrick's book studies shifting understandings of public and private in comparative constitutionalism, specifically in the United States, India, Germany, South Africa, and the European Union. Jurists have traditionally understood the constitution as a separate kind of law that obligates only the state. However, courts increasingly understand constitutions as creating obligations for private entities such as private individuals, businesses, schools, and hospitals. Bambrick draws on constitutional debates, court cases, political histories, and interviews to argue that this development of horizontal effect reflects a republican intervention (as in classical republican political theory) in constitutionalism, so altering the politics surrounding rights accordingly. While the conventional liberal narrative emphasizes the rights of individuals, horizontal effect builds a catalogue of individual duties as well, corresponding to the commitments and aspirations of a given constitutional order.